Source: The Scotsman, 10th February 1908
THE GAMEThe Aberdeen players were the first out, and the cheer which greeted them showed that they were first favourites, although the welcome accorded to the Dundee men a few minutes later indicated that they had no inconsiderable support from their devoted camp followers. The strong wind blew down the field, and the team which had to play against the breeze had also to face the sun's rays, so that the winning of the toss was an important factor in the game. What a cheer went up when it was seen that Halkett, the Aberdeen captain, had choice of ends, and had selected to play to wards the sea, with the wind and the sun behind. Hunter kicked off, and in a few minutes the game was fast and furious. Dundee of the first to press the attack, a foul by one of their forwards giving relief. The Aberdeen players did their best to settle down, but the wind upset their calculations, the light ball, on the fast turf, travelling at a tremendous speed. Throughout the first half the game was completely spoiled by the wind, which had as much sport with the ball as the 22 players. Passes miscarried, shots for goal were blown off the mark, and frequently skyward, and do what they might the players could not keep the ball low. Too often the Dundee defenders drove the ball far out of the ground into the adjoining gardens and fields, and, all together, the play in the first half was not at all worthy of the occasion. Although Aberdeen were not much helped in their attack by the wind, their defence had in it a powerful ally, and seldom could the Dundee forwards and half-backs make headway, as is evident from the fact that it was not until three minutes from the interval that Macfarlane had to handle the ball, and even then the shot which came in did not reach his goal line, the custodian coming out to meet the ball. The incidents in the first half worthy of note were few and far between, the wind worrying the attacking Aberdeen team quite as much as the Dundee forwards. The Aberdeen forwards were tricky and very anxious to score, but when they managed to retain command of the ball at close quarters their shooting was bad. O'Hagan and Lennie lead many attacks, and on the other wing Muir and Macdonald had several clever runs, while the Aberdeen half-backs worked hard, Low having several long shots at Crumley's charge. The Dundee defence played heroically, half-backs and backs tackling and kicking fearlessly, and utilising the strong wind with great judgement, so that three kicks from byes formed a strong feature of their defence. All Dundee's efforts to shake off the persistent attack on their defence were made on the left by Fraser and Macfarlane, but they came to naught, due to the strong wall barrier presented by Halkett and McIntosh, and particularly Colman, whose tackling was superb and his judgment seldom at fault. Wilfred Low was also a form in the flesh of the Dundonians, Webb and Neal being impotent against him. Several of the scrimmages in the Dundee goal were most exciting, Muir being knocked off on one occasion just as he was taking a pot shot. The most likely shot of the first half was a clever drive by Lennie, the ball dropping over the bar at the far corner. Crumley was late, and had the ball been half a foot lower, Dundee's goal would have fallen. Crumley saved from Macdonald. The Dundee team were pleased when the whistle blew for the interval. The general opinion among the spectators when the second half was begun in a rising wind was that Aberdeen had lost a chance of entering the third round, and that they would be lucky if they averted defeat. But those who thought so did not know the temper of the Aberdeen players, who started with a dash and determination that surprised and delighted their supporters. Against the wind the Aberdeen half-backs and forwards combined much better than the Dundonians had done, and the forwards were more troublesome at close quarters. Like Aberdeen in the first half, the Dundee forwards were not able to judge the flight of the ball, although the half-backs placed better than the home trio. When about 15 minutes of the second half had gone the wind fell considerably and the game was keenly contested in comparative come, the play on both sides being very fine, although Aberdeen were cleverer in the open, and did most of the pressing. O'Hagan and Lennie were brilliant, and led the Dundee half-backs and backs a merry dance at times, although Lee repeatedly broke up the Aberdeen left wing combination. Macintosh twisted his leg, but was soon hard at work again shadowing the Dundee centre forward. The Aberdeen goal was the first to be seriously threatened, Macfarlane dropping a shot from his namesake with several eager Dundonians close upon him. The ball was scraped away, however, and the Aberdeen spectators recovered from their fright. A fierce attack on the Aberdeen goal was ultimately repulsed, the custodian fielding the ball after stopping a long shot by Fraser. The Dundee team were now going strong, but they found the Aberdeen defence unbeatable, Colman excited admiration by his clean, safe work, his resourcefulness and coolness enabling him to beat the attack time after time. A hard drive by Lee led to a corner kick and when the ball was sent into the Aberdeen goal Hunter almost headed through. The ball went over the line, and the Aberdeen defenders got relief. On another occasion the star performer in the Dundee forward line, Macfarlane, was almost through, when he was smartly deprived of the ball by Low, who, like McIntosh, was strong in defence. It was now Aberdeen's turn to make the hair of the Dundee spectators stand on end, a severe attack on the visitors' goal raising excitement to fever heat. Murray was a trifle slow, and lost a chance of a shot, and a minute later Macdonald banged past, after getting a neat pass from Murray close in. Lennie was tricking Mackenzie in delightful fashion, being helped in this, which greatly please the crowd, by the strategist of the Aberdeen attack, O'Hagan. The Dundee half-backs failed again and again to check the combined attack of the Aberdeen forwards, even Jeffray being left by Muir and Macdonald, although the outside right failed through his not crossing the ball timeously. Macdonald is not Lennie, and cannot hope to beat two or three opponents in succession. Along, fast grounder from Jeffray is foot went all the way to the Aberdeen goal, but Rab Macfarlane was ready, and returned the ball. A few minutes later Macfarlane committed an error of judgment in rushing out, but Colman filled the breach. When the Dundee forwards did get down they converged on goal, and the Aberdeen defenders had to meet a closer attack and was to their liking. In a hot scrimmage Macfarlane fisted the ball away at the expense of a corner. In the next Dundee attack the Dundee Macfarlane gave his Aberdeen namesake a long shot to hold. Brilliant play by Murray, O'Hagan, and Lennie, who were ably supported by Low, raised the enthusiasm of the crowd, but the attack was frustrated by Chaplin, Dundee's powerful left back. Clever work by Macfarlane and Fraser was nullified by a wild shot for goal, which went past, but, not to be denied, Dundee again worked through the Aberdeen defence, Rab Macfarlane rushing out and kicking harmed up the field. So on the game waged, Aberdeen and then Dundee attacking and being repulsed in turn. Lennie was cheered for outwitting and beating three opponents, Dainty having to come twice to kick into touch when Mackenzie and Lee were tricked. Near the close of the game, which had been wonderfully free from detected fouls of a flagrant nature, temper was shown by some of the players, the referee having more than once to give a word of admonition. With 7 minutes to go Aberdeen made a determined attempt to score, but failed, and Dundee's final attack at the other end ended similarly. On the run of play in the whole game Aberdeen were the superior side, and with the exercise of better judgment might have won. Dundee were strong in defence and weak in attack, their centre forward and right wing being mastered by McIntosh and Low. Lennie and O'Hagan were the best wing on the field, followed by Fraser and Macfarlane. Colman was the outstanding back, with Chaplin second. Halkett played his usual finished game, and although not so effective in defence as McIntosh and Low, placed forward with fine judgment. Dundee's strength lay in their midline, Lee, Dainty, and Jeffray being a rare stout-hearted trio. Neither goalkeeper had very much to do.
RECORD DRAWINGSThe sum drawn at the turnstiles and stands amounted to the huge total of £433 2s 7d, the record for football much in Aberdeen, the previous highest being £398 10s 3d, on the occasion of Dundee's last visits to Pittodrie.
Source: Aberdeen Daily Journal, 10th February 1908
A Good Game Spoiled.What we believe would have been a splendid game between two teams well matched and keen for the struggle was completely robbed of its finer points by the strong wind which blew many ways on Saturday. Such a seething mass of humanity, com¬posed of all kinds of people drawn from east and west, north and south, were in attendance at Pittodrie to see their favourites, Dundee and Aberdeen, battle for a place in the next round of the Scottish Ties. All records for the home enclosure went by the board. An hour before the start there was a respectable gate, and still they came rushing in from all parts, and with one object, to see a great game. Of fine combination there was none, due to the cause already indicated, the strong wind carrying the ball much faster than the players could keep pace with. The shoot¬ing often appeared reckless through the same cause, and completely nonplussed the forwards in their attempts to gauge the strength of it. These were the chief causes of disappointment on Saturday. However, we should have commenced this short narrative of the game by following it in its proper course. Aberdeen won the toss, and chose to play with wind and sun behind them, their opponents having what appeared a decided disadvantage to contend with. Fraser and Macfarlane, on Dundee's left, got well down, Colman relieving, and then commenced a regular fusillade on Crumley. Seldom were Dundee allowed to cross the middle line, the halves having the measure of the forwards and dealing effectively with all their elusive methods. To the experienced it became evident that only by a chance shot could the defence be beaten, the goal area being too much packed with players for a direct aim to take effect. More or less Dundee acted on the defensive in the first half, resorting to touch when too hard pressed, Aberdeen's forwards failing to get through. On resuming the wind had fallen somewhat and was more favourable to the attack of the visitors. Even at that their shooting became as reckless as the home side's had been. There was this difference in the second half, Aberdeen showing that they could play better football, than they opponents did against the wind. In fact, we thought more of Aberdeen's play against the elements than when they were favoured with it. It was pleasing to watch the footwork of the left-wing, and it was exasperating to witness the double chance of scoring by the right. We only saw two really difficult shots which Macfarlane had to deal with, one from his namesake and the ether from Jeffrey on the line. So on the play went, first one way then the other, till the whist1e sounded, without the ball being placed in the net during the whole ninety minutes.
Play and Players.Without hesitation, we should put Charlie O'Hagan as the best forward on the field on Saturday. Though he did not meet with success in scoring, he made many good openings, while his feeding and elusive tactics were the admiration of all critics. We should put Lennie next on the merit list, with Murray and. Muir close up. For the most part, Macdonald was a failure, and did not do himself justice. This player can do better than he did, and Saturday seemed to be his off day. Of the halves, the whole three were great, but we thought Low stood prominently out because he had the best wing to contend with. Never approaching roughness, he could stop anything that came his way, while his placing was superior to anything we saw. Colman and Hume were also in good form, and against the wind were not only judicious in their work, but clean in every¬thing they did. Macfarlane was in his element all the time, and watchful of every move by his opponents. On, the Dundee side, Macfarlane was best in attack, while Dainty shone in the middle line; and both backs played resolutely, with Crumley very safe in goal. The referee, Mr. Stark, Airdrie, performed his difficult duties with satisfaction to all concerned, and, as a proof of this; both clubs have agreed to retain his services for the replay at Dens Park next Saturday.
Chatty Bits.The drawings at Pittodrie were as follows:- Gate, £341 1s 9d stands, £91 15s 10d ; total, £433 2s 7d. This constitutes a record for Aberdeen and gives an estimated attendance of over 16,000 spectators. It was a great pity that the wind was so strong in the first as it completely spoiled the play. Some of the Dundee officials, on being asked their opinion as to the result, were hopeful to draw. They had their wish gratified. If the play lacked science it was made up for in earnestness. The game might be summed up as poor; especially was it lacking in bright movements which the scribe can with a fine pen picture. In this respect it was dull almost to ditch water, there being only a bad miss by Macdonald and a fine shot by Jeffrey to swear and enthuse over. What the players complained of most was the trickiness of the wind. One time the ball required some effort behind it to make it reach a partner, and at the next instant a touch made it roll past. It is explained that what made Macdonald hesitate when he had that golden opportunity in the second period was, he thought Murray palmed the ball to him and expected to hear the whistle blow for "hands." This incident the referee did not observe, and had Macdonald scored it would more than likely have counted. Taking into account the strong rivalry that exists between the teams the game was comparatively free from roughness. Then was very little shady work seen. The referee early put his foot down firmly, and brooked no interference with his decisions. There were two members of the Referees' Committee of the S.F.A. present. They will, no doubt report to the selectors what they saw. For Saturday's replay, it is understood that the club will run an excursion to Dundee, and we hope it will be well patronised. The tie on Saturday at Dens Park will be started at, 3.30, and we expect to see a good few Aberdonians up to help their team. The Aberdeen team are all reported fit, and expect to make good show. There is considerable satisfaction at the news that Charlie O'Hagan has decided to play for his club. He has made a sacrifice which we hope will bring its own reward in the shape of a good win for his side The A team had an off-day on Saturday, and were keen critics of the play at Pittodrie. They will have a big handful themselves this week at Pittodrie in having to meet Forfar Athletic in their return Northern League game. It will be recollected the last game was abandoned on account of fog, the A's leading by 1-o at that time. Forfar has been going so strong since then that we almost fancy the points will be lost at Pittodrie. The A's will have to buck up if they mean to win this game for they have strong opposition to face. Sandy Hall, their old centre, will get his first game with Dundee on Saturday. His old friends will watch his career on 'Tayside. Our arrangements for the half-time results from Dundee and other centres will be on the Board this week. See and get a programme.
Source: Bon-Accord, 13th February 1908